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2003 Milk Plus Droogies

Best Picture
Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Director
Quentin Tarantino, Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Actor (tie)
Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean

Best Actor (tie)
Bill Murray, Lost in Translation

Best Actress
Uma Thurman, Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Supporting Actor
David Hyde Pierce, Down With Love

Best Supporting Actress
Miranda Richardson, Spider

Best Screenplay
Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation

Best Foreign Film
Irreversible

Best Cinematography
Harris Savides, Gerry

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The Blog:
Thursday, May 02, 2002
 
Part silent expressionism, part gothic horror, part domestic romance, and part disco comedy, Brian De Palma's Carrie is a marvel of cinema. I've just watched the DVD, having not seen the film for years, and its freshness astounded me. The absurd music in the tuxedo-buying montage clearly dates the film in the '70s, but the level of craftsmanship displayed by De Palma is timeless. One bravura sequence after another proves that every composition matters, and the timing of each cut and camera move is of utter importance. Just as in Mission To Mars, De Palma reveals he doesn't care much for his scripts -- he'll direct how he's going to direct no matter what people say or do to each other -- though luckily in this instance he's supported in the writing department by the dependable Larry Cohen.

If anyone needs a reason why Frailty is weak, they need only look to this film, a far, far, far superior parable of devout religious parenting, child abuse, demonic possession, murder, and vengeance. The themes of Carrie entering womanhood, the motif of blood, the color red, the isolated shots underscoring loneliness, the mother figures of Piper Laurie and Betty Buckley, the high school cliques, the peer pressure, the fear generated by the intensity of needing to belong -- all of these elements are woven brilliantly into the fabric of De Palma's canvas -- a lyrical, devastating film that not only respects its characters, but respects the audience as well. The 20-minute prom sequence is an unprecedented masterpiece (including the infamous dizzying circular dance between Katt and Spacek), the climax at Carrie's home provides the most gorgeous use of sound and sound editing in De Palma's career, and the opening locker room scene is a brilliant tone-setter. Spacek is flawless, Buckley and Laurie are effective, Allen, Katt, and Irving believable, and even Travolta is funny. There are laughs and disturbing shocks placed impossibly close to one another, but with no irony or cheating. I could have done without the tuxedo montage or the detention exercises, but overall the film is simply great. If it's been a few years since any of you have seen Carrie, it's about time to check it out again -- its prediction of Columbine is also quite chilling. I think that Carrie ranks up with Carlito's Way and Mission: Impossible as De Palma's best work, even towering above other greats like Blow Out, Raising Cain, Body Double, and The Untouchables.